Georgia — Speaking in a soft, sometimes labored voice, the only U.S. Army officer convicted in the 1968 slayings of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai made an extraordinary public apology while speaking to a small group near the military base where he was court-martialed.
“There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” William L. Calley told members of a local Kiwanis Club, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported Friday. “I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.”
Calley, 66, was a young Army lieutenant when a court-martial at nearby Fort Benning convicted him of murder in 1971 for killing 22 civilians during the infamous massacre of 500 men, women and children in Vietnam.
Frustrated U.S. troops came to My Lai on a “search and destroy” mission, looking for elusive Vietcong guerrillas. Although there were no reports of enemy fire, the U.S. troops began mowing down villagers and setting fire to their homes.